Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spinach Panini

Spinach and Red Pepper Panini

As if spinach weren’t enough, the roasted red peppers in these delicious panini add another set of nutrients: the carotenoids found in red vegetables and fruits, as well as vitamins C, A and B6. Use a whole grain bread.

Serves four (use one bag of spinach for 2 sandwiches)

12 ounces (2 bags) baby spinach

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt, preferably kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper

1 large or 2 smaller roasted sweet red peppers, sliced

1/4 pound mozzarella, grated

8 slices whole grain country bread

1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Add the spinach to the boiling water and blanch for 10 to 20 seconds. Transfer to the ice water to cool for a few minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, and stir in the spinach. Toss together to coat with oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

3. Preheat a panini grill. Top four of the bread slices with the spinach, and top the spinach with strips of roasted pepper, then with cheese. Top with the remaining bread, and press together. Brush the outside of the bread (top and bottom slices) with olive oil. Place in the panini maker and grill for five minutes, until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasty. Slice in half, and serve hot.

Advance preparation: You can prepare the spinach through step 2 several hours or even a day ahead of assembling the panini.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cauliflower Marranca

Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

Cook one cup brown rice, stir in one tsp. of salt and 2 T. butter (makes about 3 cups cooked rice)

Saute one large chopped onion in olive oil until soft.

Add one large head cauliflower, separated into florets. Saute with the juice of one lemon, 3 cloves crushed garlic, one tsp. dried basil, salt and pepper.

Stir together sauteed cauliflower/onion, brown rice, and two-and-a-half cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese. Pour into buttered casserole dish, and bake, covered for a half hour at 350 degrees.

Good additions include fresh basil or a few tablespoons of pesto

Moroccan Carrots with Cumin and Lemon

Cut the leafy tops off one or two bunches of organic baby carrots, and scrub well.

Steam for 7 - 10 minutes, or bake in olive oil at 400 for 25-30 minutes, until tender

Mix together 3 T. lemon juice, 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin,
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika, 1/2 tsp. sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt.

When the carrots are done, drizzle sauce over them, rolling them in sauce to make sure they're thoroughly coated.